J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese 2018
This dramatically beautiful region of western Germany produces exceptional white wines from the Riesling grape. Among the lightest in Germany, these wines usually contain less than 10% alcohol and they are generally delicate, fresh, and bursting with flavor.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Very rich with plenty of exotic fruit, this generous wine miraculously remains very clean, thanks to the lively acidity and the bright yellow-grapefruit and pineapple character at the very long finish. Drink or hold
The 2018 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese is still discreet but deep and vegetal on the coolish and still slightly reductive nose that opens up slowly with aeration. There is an expressive slate character here and coolish precision in terms of fruit flavors. Classy on the first palate, this is a crystalline, elegant and piquant, vital and crunchy Auslese that dinks quite well even in its youth. Based on the wine's density and piquancy, however, I recommend to cellar it for at least a decade. Tasted at the domain in September 2020. Rating: 95+
Following the Mosel River as it slithers and weaves dramatically through the Eifel Mountains in Germany’s far west, the Mosel wine region is considered by many as the source of the world’s finest and longest-lived Rieslings.
Mosel’s unique and unsurpassed combination of geography, geology and climate all combine together to make this true. Many of the Mosel’s best vineyard sites are on the steep south or southwest facing slopes, where vines receive up to ten times more sunlight, a very desirable condition in this cold climate region. Given how many twists and turns the Mosel River makes, it is not had to find a vineyard with this exposure. In fact, the Mosel’s breathtakingly steep slopes of rocky, slate-based soils straddle the riverbanks along its entire length. These rocky slate soils, as well as the river, retain and reflect heat back to the vineyards, a phenomenon that aids in the complete ripening of its grapes.
Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically on the desirable sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type and altitude. The best Mosel Rieslings—dry or sweet—express marked acidity, low alcohol, great purity and intensity with aromas and flavors of wet slate, citrus and stone fruit. With age, the wine’s color will become more golden and pleasing aromas of honey, dried apricot and sometimes petrol develop.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.